“But those who reject climate science say the phrase denier has the pejorative ring of Holocaust denier”. “By characterizing individuals who deny the reality of climate change as merely doubters, the AP is perpetuating an air of legitimacy it has already deemed inappropriate for this group”.
To describe those who don’t accept climate science or dispute the world is warming from man-made forces, use climate change doubters or those who reject mainstream climate science. As they stated in the letter, “Proper skepticism promotes scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims”.
In what appears to be a mixed result in the quest for clarity, the Associated Press has announced that its reporters and those who wish to adhere to its Stylebook guidelines will henceforth refer to those who don’t worship at the altar of the global warming/climate change absolutists “doubters” instead of “deniers” and “skeptics“. The group says they still like the term “climate change deniers” for those that disagree with them.
The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry has been pushing the media business to ban the word “skeptics” when referring to those who reject the scientific basis of warming. He said AP science writer Seth Borenstein was among those who provided guidance on the change. But when the science is solid and the evidence points in one direction, raising questions about the efficacy of vaccines or human contribution to climate change only confuses the public.
Doubter is less-harsh a word that denier, but the harshest thing of all will be facing a reality where coasts are flooded, biodiversity has plummeted, and extreme heat waves bake our summers.
“Defying 90+% of scientific consensus on something isn’t a well-reasoned act of “doubt” – it’s an irrational act of ‘denial, ‘” Ganapathy wrote in an email. “Does the AP recommend newspapers use the phrase “smoking health risk doubters” or “tobacco science doubters”?”
“The explanation for why the phrase “climate deniers doesn’t fit is unconvincing”, he told HuffPost”.
Use of the term “denier” is accurate in some cases, says Ed Maibach, a climate communications researcher at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
Several journalists, including some who might be expected to abide by the new language in their newsrooms, snarked at the change. “Seems like a dicey precedent”.